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Core 52 Chapter 33 - Love - John 3:16

Love.
Love is a many splendored thing.
Love lift us up where we belong.
All you need is love.
In the name of love. 
What’s love got to do with it?


These are only a few of the avalanche of catchy musical phrases containing this powerful and mesmerizing word.  I could go on and on in continuing this list, and so could you! Love has moved many people to do marvelous and amazing things. Love has helped people to endure more than they ever imagined they could endure. Love has even been the driving force between world powers uniting or dividing. Love is indeed a powerful emotion, able to move us both as individuals and as a collective whole. I have witnessed the unifying force of a diverse people’s love for their nation after tragedy occurs. I have also witnessed love motivate individuals to move mountains to maintain relationship with the object of their emotion. I’ve seen love move the toughest, hardest person to tears at the arrival of a new life or the passing of an old one. Love is certainly a powerful emotion, capable of being the driving force behind a vast amount of movements and actions, but that still doesn’t fully capture what love is.

All of these views and perspectives of love focus on the emotion of love and the stirring of feelings inside of us which then move us to do things.  In these circumstances, love is more like a catalyst that gets us going. The ability and the desire is already there; we just need something to get things going.

I don’t think that’s what love should be at all, though.  Sure, it’s a great benefit of it, but does it really and truly encompass what love is?  From the reading this week with Mr. Moore, it is clear there was an origination relating to Christianity to the word love. The word was agape and some time previous to the days of Jesus and the early church, this word took on a new meaning. In other words, the life of Christ and the actions of the early church forced a cultural shift in meaning of a common Greek word. Talk about impact.  Talk about change.  The actions of God, through Jesus, created a new definition for love – unconditional and unmerited love.

This love was not centered on an emotion or otherwise it couldn’t be unconditional. This love was not centered on the value of the object or person loved or otherwise it couldn’t be unmerited. This love was centered on the fact that the Supreme God of the Universe expressed His unchangeable love for His creation in a completely sacrificial way, even though it was unmerited and undeserved.

Let me go back to our recall of songs relating to love. This one is an outlier, one you likely haven’t heard of unless you were a teenager or young adult in the early 90s or worked with students or had a love for Christian contemporary music at that time. It’s a song by the hip-hop musical group DC Talk called, “Luv is a Verb.” I’ll spare you the torture of picturing me trying to “rap” the lyrics to this song and that’s not really the point, but the title says it all.

What if we were to define love as not something we show or say but something we be or do? What if instead of saying “I love you,” or “I love Taco Tuesdays,” or “I love it when I catch all the lights green on San Jose,” we DO love and BE love?  Instead of simply saying the word, what would happen if we would actually DO and BE love?

One more song reference for you. This one is a bit more modern. I don’t claim to know the intent of the songwriter, so I’m not endorsing the song or the artist themselves, but I do believe they have stumbled upon a great truth.

LOVE WINS.

Don’t just say love; be love because that’s literally, physically, spiritually what Jesus did. If you don’t want to take my word for it, then try the apostle Paul on for size: Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4:1-2. Not enough? Then let’s raise the bar and see what Jesus said: Matthew 5:44, John 3:16, Mark 12:29-31.

Let’s say and show less while we BE and DO more. Be Love. Do Love.

- Pete Ramsey